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Apr 22, 2019

Why you need a criminal defense lawyer instead of a public defender

Driving while drinking or on drugs is a serious offense with serious consequences. Fines and jail time are common place in these scenarios and if you don’t have someone in your corner, the prosecution will be free to push for as high of a penalty as possible.

A Bucks county DUI attorney, like any other attorney, has the job of protecting your rights and helping you take the minimal penalty. Their technical jargon and knowledge of the state laws, depending on the state Your in, can pull you through what would otherwise be a total disaster. Let’s have a look at some of their knowledge base.

Do You Need One?:

Before we look into what a DUI attorney can do, we need to establish if you can receive help in your situation. An attorney won’t be able to help you, or won’t need to help you in these situations:

  • First Offense- penalty will of course still be applied, but it probably won’t be as bad as if you were a repeat offender
  • No One Was Hurt- this is the ideal scenario if you are convicted. Penalty will be minimal.
  • It’s Obvious that You’re Drunk- Alcohol on your breath, slurred speech, and a high BAC(limit 0.08)are tell tale signs to an officer.

These situations will probably result in a guilty plea or “no contest”. At that point the penalty is assigned and it’s curtains for you. Even still, it couldn’t hurt to consult an attorney in the situation where a factor in your case requires legal assistance.

What an Attorney can Do:

Now that we’ve ruled out the possibility of not needing an attorney, let’s go over the knowledge base of a DUI attorney.

A Plea Bargain– If the case for the prosecution isn’t rock solid, further trials can be made to come to a final conclusion. This of course costs the state more money and that’s not always something they’re willing to give up. In this scenario, your DUI attorney can negotiate with the prosecution on a plea bargain. This is where your attorney’s charisma comes into play.

If your attorney can convince the prosecution, you can plea guilty and receive a lower penalty. Go you! The potential charges you can plead down to are things like “reckless driving”, but in California there’s something called “Wet Reckless”.

This means that the use of alcohol is recognized, but the sentence is far less intense than a DUI charge, keeping you out of jail and protecting your licsense from being suspended if your BAC isn’t above .08%. Keep in mind that “Wet Reckless” is still a DUI charge on your record, so don’t get convicted twice.

DUI Involving Drugs

In addition to helping with the sentence, a DUI attorney can also negotiate away any random drug testing or conditions of probation. In retrospect, it seems a bit underhanded, but not if you’re the one getting help.

So, in short, DUI attorneys are important to your case and can be the difference between a second chance and years in prison. When you think about it, they might just be worth the money and hey, you know your Miranda rights, so you’ll be provided one anyway.

Why you need a criminal defense lawyer instead of a public defender

Dec 23, 2018

Why you need a criminal defense lawyer instead of a public defender

Each year in the United States, millions of people are arrested and charged with crimes that potentially carry jail or prison time. The vast majority of those arrested are below or near the poverty line, making it difficult to afford legal counsel for their defense. Most of these individuals will end up either defending themselves in court or have a public defender appointed to their case. 

But even though it may be tempting to avoid the higher cost of hiring a private defense attorney, there are strong reasons to hire one. Hiring a competent defense lawyer can give defendants a big edge in court, often making the difference between going to jail and walking free. 

 

Public defenders as attorneys of last resort

Nationwide, studies have shown that up to 85 percent of all defendants charged in criminal cases rely on public defenders. In practice, this means that public defenders are often saddled with stifling caseloads. And they may only have a few minutes to dedicate to a client’s entire case

By contrast, a private defense attorney will often only be handling a few cases at a time. Private attorneys often have research assistants, expert witnesses and other professionals who they can call on to help with their cases. This translates into dozens or even hundreds of hours of experienced professionals working on a case, giving the defendant their best shot at beating the case outright or discouraging the prosecution from aggressively pushing ahead with hard-to-prove charges. Often, the mere perception by the prosecution of the defendant having a strong legal defense team on their side may be enough to bring serious leverage to the table, helping to secure plea deals for much lesser charges. Prosecutors know that someone who is being represented by a severely overworked public defender is unlikely to be able to mount a strong defense at trial. And this will often lead to a much-weakened bargaining position in the event of a plea deal. 

 

Getting what you pay for

The main problem for most people with hiring a private defense lawyer is cost. Especially where the defendant may be facing serious jail or prison time, hiring a strong defense team may cost thousands of dollars or more. But this will often turn out to be money well spent. There’s no way to put a price on freedom. And it’s impossible to earn anything at all while locked up in prison or jail, making the few thousand for a successful defense a bargain. 

Because public defenders cost little or nothing, they are the option that the vast majority of defendants choose. But this ensures that they rarely have anything close to the time, energy or dedication to invest in any one case that a private attorney brings. Public defenders are also appointed. This means that if a defendant is assigned a public defender with whom they don’t get along, it may be difficult or impossible to have a new defender assigned to their case. When hiring a private attorney, the defendant has complete control over who they ultimately select to represent them. And it is usually possible to switch attorneys if a defendant is dissatisfied with their current lawyer. It might make sense to get some PayPal working capital before you hire an attorney if you need money.

 

Incentives matter

Finally, while most public defenders go into their chosen field with great ambition and the intention of doing good, the harsh realities of handling thousands of cases each year in the U.S. justice system often leave them overworked and somewhat jaded. One of the most common complaints that defendants have about public defenders is that they just don’t seem to care enough about the people they represent. This apparent indifference is, in part, because they are government employees who will have a job whether they win or lose. 

A competent private defense attorney, on the other hand, is usually highly invested in the outcome of the cases they handle. All said, the best reason to hire a private attorney is because they are there to win.

Why you need a criminal defense lawyer instead of a public defender

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New York, NY 10005

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Queens

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Astoria, NY 11106

Phone

888-977-6335

Brooklyn

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14th Floor,
Brooklyn, NY 11201

Phone

888-977-6335

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